Mobile Lockers- new delivery methods by self-driving cars

Until recently, deliveries had remained just as they were when Farmer John was bringing milk to your grandparent’s doorstep. One car full of stuff, one driver walking out at every home to leave precious (or tasty) goods on the doorstep.

Then in 2011, the Amazon Locker started appearing in major American cities. It brought the convenience of a delivery to within a 1/2 mile of the home with the flexibility of a long delivery window.

Delivery drivers no longer had to spend 2 hours driving to deliver 30 orders. Instead, they could fit 30 deliveries into an Amazon Locker in 5 minutes, and head off to provide great service for others.

Now imagine the convenience of a locker without the permanence of expensive, static structures, and at a lower cost than any current model.

Customers retrieve goods from the udelv vehicle

At udelv, we call this the Mobile Locker. Our autonomous delivery vans (ADVs) are filled with goods at one location. They drive to another ‘hot spot’ where they sit while as many as 32 delivery customers come out to retrieve their goods.

udelv ADVs are already used as Mobile Locker for grocery delivery. Draeger’s Market, a San Mateo, CA grocery store using the udelv ADV, has an agreement with multiple office buildings for free grocery delivery on a certain day of the week. Draeger’s Market pickers load the udelv vehicle at 4:00pm. The vehicle arrives at an office building by 4:30pm, and sits until 5:30pm. Customers retrieve their order when convenient- as they walk out to their cars, headed home for the day.

California grocer Draeger’s Market is using the udelv ADV as a mobile locker and autonomous delivery provider.

Draeger’s Market has seen a retention in weekly deliveries to the same customers, increased basket sizes/stop, and more deliveries/hour.

And customers? They love the convenience of the experience, the interaction with the ADV, and the predictability of repeat orders to the office.

A very, very happy customer.

Other implementations can be equally impactful. A postal carrier can load the ADV with late-night deliveries to a college dormitory, where students are can retrieve packages between 10pm-midnight in exchange for a lower delivery cost.

A meal kit company that currently leaves boxes of food on doorsteps can offer high-quality service by using an ADV to deliver to customers within a few blocks from a central point.

A pharmacy serving customers in a gated community can dispatch the ADV to spend 3 hours at the community entrance, giving customers time to retrieve their prescriptions from this new and convenient pickup spot.

By altering the cost structure and improving upon the location convenience that the Amazon locker introduced, self-driving cars, like the udelv autonomous delivery van, are building delivery convenience at a cost both Merchants and Customers can get behind.

If you have thoughts about how autonomous deliveries can help your delivery business, or if you want to learn more about the udelv ADV, contact sales@udelv.com.